In the wake of Tuesday’s tremendous caucus turnout, legislators are looking toward a more organized and streamlined solution to the chaos experienced by so many voters at their precinct caucuses. Sen. Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope) and Sen. Linda Scheid (DFL-Brooklyn Park) are authoring a bill to separate the presidential contest from the caucus process.

While the high voter turnout was inspiring and energizing to some, a number of caucus-goers left frustrated due to long lines, lack of ballots, and the short allotted time to vote. Facing hour-long delays due to traffic jams, many arrived late and were unable to cast their ballots. The proposed legislation would allow voters to participate in a primary similar to that of a general election while still allowing caucuses to take place at a later date.

Despite the flaws in the current system, Republican Party Chair Ron Carey opposes moving toward a presidential primary. He believes that holding a primary separately would result in low caucus turnout and undermine the intent of the caucus system. DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez said he would be interested in exploring the issue further. While he understands there may be unintended consequences, he is equally as concerned about the possibility of voters feeling disenfranchised with a chaotic caucus experience.

For more information on the proposed primary legislation, go to